Academic Travel Seminars

Leading an Academic Travel Seminar is an excellent opportunity to internationalize your curriculum and allow students to explore a specific topic in a new cultural context.

Program proposals are welcomed in the spring semester of the year prior to proposed travel. When the proposal period has opened, the Center for International Education & Study Away (CIESA) will notify CAS and SBS leadership, who will then send their faculty a call for proposals.

Though not required for submission, please keep a budget in mind when completing your program proposal by using the budget proposal template [XLS].

Program Proposal Forms [PDF] are due to your Dean by May 15. The Deans will review all proposals and submit their approved programs to CIESA as a package. CIESA will then work with the faculty leaders of all selected programs to prepare the Request for Proposals form and refine the program budget.

It also may be helpful to read the Standards of Good Practice For Short-Term Education [PDF] while preparing.

Please review the Travel Seminar FAQs for more information, and contact us with any questions.

Academic Travel Seminar FAQs

Typically, Academic Travel Seminars run in the spring, either at the beginning of January, over spring break, or at the end of the semester. If planned for the end of the semester, travel seminars must fall within academic period regulations and cannot interfere with final exams. Summer travel seminars are possible, but there are financial aid considerations.

Date Detail
May 15 Program Proposal [PDF] form is due to deans for review.
June 1 Packet of proposals due to CIESA.
June Program review including budget, content, and itinerary.
July Finalized Request for Proposals form is sent to providers.
August 1 Finalized proposals are received and contracts are signed.
August 15 Course information, dates, prices are finalized and posted on the website.
September 1 Applications open.
September Recruitment, including the study abroad fair, takes place.
October 15 Application deadline.
November Acceptance decisions are released, student pre-departure orientation and a faculty workshop are scheduled.
March* Programs Travel

*Exact dates are to be decided and dependent on individual programs.

You will go through most of the same steps for a repeat program as you would for a new program; the difference is how much work is needed at each step. The Proposal Form is still required for your Dean to know that you would like to run the Travel Seminar again and for CIESA to be able to create your academic course. The RFP may not be needed if you plan to use the same partner, but if you would like to explore other partners, we can simply update your RFP from previous years. The budget, itinerary, syllabus, and online brochure can all be updated instead of created new. Recruitment will also be able to rely on engaging with past participants, and we encourage this!

Many faculty want to propose a Travel Seminar because they have experience or interest in a specific location, which brings good knowledge to the experience for students. However, if you have an idea for an academic topic that would benefit from an international perspective and you know the academic outcomes you are looking for, but you don’t have a connection to a specific location, CIESA and our partners can offer suggestions to help you choose a destination that meets the academic and cultural needs of your course.

It is not necessary to have contacts in-country prior to proposal. CIESA and Suffolk work with a wide range of domestic and study abroad partners around the world who can put together a comprehensive program proposal for us. If you have ideas and suggestions, they will take those into consideration when building an itinerary.

It’s best practice to have two leaders on each program. Having a secondary leader allows a faculty member who hasn’t led a program yet to gain experience before becoming the primary leader on their own program. You will always have logistical support from your program partner on the ground.

The short answer is that all of the costs to run the Travel Seminar, including all faculty costs, are financed by the student participants. When you work with CIESA to build the program budget, we’ll see all of the costs and calculate how much each participant will need to pay to cover all of the costs. The students will be charged a program fee in addition to their regular tuition, and the revenue from the program fee will be routed to the School or Department responsible for paying the program invoices. In the Sawyer School of Business invoices are paid from the Dean’s budget, and in the College of Arts & Sciences invoices are paid from the budget of the department running the Travel Seminar.

CIESA will provide you with a budget proposal template [XLS] that includes the various items that need to be factored into the overall cost, such as housing, flights, provider fees, etc. and will assist you through the process.

The proposal will need to be approved by both your department chair and Dean’s Office. Once approved, CIESA will review (in consultation with Risk Management, if necessary) and work with the faculty leaders to clarify and finalize program details.

Once your proposal is approved, we’ll send your completed Request for Proposals Template to potential in-country partners. They will offer sample itineraries and budgets based on your syllabus and proposal. You will work with CIESA to determine the best provider for your program. Once a partner is selected, you’ll be able to finalize your budget, working with the CIESA program managers.

CIESA will open student applications to programs at the start of the fall semester with a deadline of October 15. After the deadline, we will work with students to commit to their chosen program and confirm numbers with our partners. By the end of November, we should know if the program has enough students enrolled to run.

There are three pillars of an Academic Travel Seminar:

  • academics
  • culture
  • logistics

You will guide the academic piece of the program, building the syllabus and course outcomes. CIESA and the in-country partner will work with you to build the cultural pieces and organize program logistics. If you have ideas, suggestions, or requirements, our partners can typically accommodate these, and will work to ensure that the logistics support the academic and cultural pieces.

You will always have an in-country contact through your program partner who will be available 24/7 during an emergency. From Suffolk’s side, you can reach out through the Crisis 24 app to get in touch with the Emergency Response Team.

CIESA will support recruitment, but faculty leaders are the primary point of contact for recruiting. We will build an online program brochure for each program, and we can support you with marketing materials, but program-specific info sessions and meetings are the responsibility of the faculty leaders.

You will submit your syllabus as part of the program proposal, and as you build the academic requirements, you should follow the requirements outlined by the Registrar for contact hours. Your syllabus will also need to be approved by your department chair and dean prior to submitting the full proposal.

You will be paid to teach the course and all necessary travel expenses will be covered. Remember, all of your costs are covered by student fees, so we work hard to keep costs low.

Yes! We work hard to ensure that programs are affordable, but we have also identified several Study Abroad scholarships, both internal and external, for which our students can apply. Talk with Study Abroad’s program managers if you have any questions.